Mama: Melissa T.
Stats: 8 lbs., 0.5 oz., 19.75 inches
Type of Birth: Vaginal Delivery
Birth Location: Hospital
Primary Care: Obstetrician
At 37 weeks pregnant I was “done.” I felt miserable from SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction), I could hardly walk and I was still working 40 hour weeks. I was exhausted, huge and was so overly anxious to meet my little guy.
So, needless to say when I went in for my weekly checkup on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 to find I was only two centimeters dilated and 70% effaced, I was pretty bummed even though I knew it was better for my bubba to “cook a little longer.”
I went through the rest of the week like normal. I went to work, out to a Tokyo Steak House for a friend’s birthday that Friday night and a baby shower that Saturday. I remember feeling like I was having “tightening” in my stomach but I think I was in denial that they were contractions or anything at all. I chalked it up to just being huge and uncomfortable.
Sunday March 6, 2011, I went with friends to buy things for a friend’s baby shower and we went back to my house to make her diaper cake. I just remember feeling out of it and so uncomfortable and tired. After that my hubby and I went to my mom’s house for dinner.
Around 3 p.m. my contractions began. They were anywhere from 3-7 minutes apart and they continued until about 7 p.m. They didn’t hurt at all so I really didn’t think much of them at all my until my mama convinced me they were indeed contractions.
My mama convinced us to go to the hospital and at least get checked but I knew nothing was really going on, I just felt it wasn’t time yet. Regardless, we went home and grabbed all of our stuff and headed in. I was hooked up to the monitors and the nurses checked me out.
At this point I was still only two centimeters dilated and 80% effaced and in that moment I KNEW we would be going home that night. They continued to monitor me for an hour and my contractions were still timed at 3-7 minutes apart. I was in prodromal labor, which is very early labor, but not false labor according to the triage nurse. Of course… they sent us home.
Through the next day, I had contractions on and off. They would come and go as they pleased. Monday night I had some leaking which I thought at the time was my water breaking, so we called to the hospital again just to find out that it indeed was not.
On Tuesday, March 8th my husband and I went in for my 38 week checkup. I was still two centimeters dilated and 80% effaced and I felt pretty defeated after my exam. The doctor decided to do a sonogram and a non-stress test/heart rate monitor on the baby just to be safe. We sat there for what seemed like forever.
My contractions at this time were about 5-7 minutes apart and I remember my husband being frustrated thinking we would be sent home again only this time I noticed something he did not. With every contraction, baby’s heart rate would dip very low, and it scared me. After two and a half hours at the doctor’s, the doctor finally called us into her office and scheduled my induction for the next day.
The baby was measuring 8 pounds 1 oz. and my contractions were putting stress on his heart rate so it was time to get him out. She reminded me to make sure he was moving at least once every hour —which scared me— and if I didn’t feel anything to come in immediately.
We got to go home and prepare for the G’s arrival, which I think was one of my favorite parts of our entire journey. We washed the sheets, dusted and vacuumed and had everything ready for when we brought him home. That night I was super anxious and hardly slept, I was uncomfortable and was having difficulty getting settled. I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve!
On Wednesday March 9, 2011, I was 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant. We got to the hospital around 7:15 a.m. after sitting in an hour and a half of traffic. I was 2.5 centimeters dilated 90% effaced after having contractions all night long. We were admitted and taken to our room.
At around 8 a.m. my doctor broke my water, I never imagined it would be like it was. A huge gush came out and I felt like I had peed myself! My doctor wanted to start Pitocin right away but I asked if we could hold off just for a little to see what happened.
For the next couple hours, I chatted with family and friends who hung out in the room with us. The hard contractions began around 9 a.m. but they still were not dilating me any further. Around 10:30 a.m. the doctor decided to start Pitocin as I was still only 2.5 centimeters dilated.
I really didn’t want to do this but I also didn’t want to be contracting aimlessly for hours on end. The Pitocin kicked in right away. I was contracting hard (and they HURT) until around 2 p.m. but still was not dilating at all. I tried different positions, walking around etc. and nothing was working. I remember at times thinking that I can do this one minute and in the next minute I felt like I was going to die.
Around 2 p.m. I decided I couldn’t take the contractions anymore. I was in tears it hurt so badly (and I never cry). I was going back and forth with each contraction and sending my husband out to request the epidural and as soon as he would get back I would tell him, “ok I am fine now.” (This probably happened about four times).
Finally I came to peace with the decision and we ordered up the epidural. Once that was in (about 45 minutes later) I was feeling a lot better, but for some reason could still feel every contraction. I had friends and family in and out of the room all day keeping me company and just sitting and chatting. I ate a ton of popsicles and remember being so hungry the entire day.
By 4 p.m. I was six centimeters dilated and by 6 p.m. (as soon as I sent my hubby out to the waiting room to hang with the guys) I was nine centimeters, time had flown in those two hours. For some reason the epidural only took on my left side however so I was basically feeling every single thing on my right! At one point they had me laying on my right side and dosing up on the epidural to try and get it to slide into my right side which was really uncomfortable considering I was contracting through it all.
Around 6:30 p.m., I decided it was time to push and the nurses gave me the OK. With every contraction I was feeling the baby’s foot lodge into my ribcage and I seriously felt like he was going to break a rib if I didn’t get him out soon. I was feeling every single contraction and pain on my right side and it was almost unbearable at times.
Again they had me laying on my right side dosing the epidural trying to get it to take at the same time as pushing with the contractions but nothing was working. I remember my left leg being so heavy and sedated; I could hardly hold it up on my own.
About 30 minutes into pushing, the doctor arrived and coached me along. I was crouched over my stomach pushing with everything I had in me. G was “turtleing” where he would crown and then slide back in and I had to use everything in me to get over that hurdle. I remember pushing for three counts of ten and a lot of times they would push me to go for a fourth which felt like running a marathon.
Forty five minutes into pushing, I remember saying I can’t do this anymore, but I never stopped.
I managed to push him out! At 7:27 p.m. (almost exactly 12 hours after being admitted) we welcomed G into the world.
He was 8 pounds half an oz. and 19 3/4 inches long. They placed him on my chest right away and I had never felt so proud or overjoyed in my entire life. I remember looking at him and thinking he was everything I had imagined he would look like for the nine long months we had waited to see his little face.
They took him to get cleaned up as I was stitched up (one stitch for a third degree tear) and the placenta was removed and I remember asking over and over if he was OK and if everything was alright. I remember uncontrollably shaking and the doctor telling me it was perfectly normal.
Thirty minutes after G arrived, I was able to breastfeed him for the first time and with the help of one of my friends who is a nurse at the hospital, I found out what a “good latch” was. G nursed for half an hour!!
Because of the epidural only taking on one side, my entire left side was completely and overwhelmingly numb while I could feel my entire right side ten minutes after G was delivered. I also had excess swelling and the nurses debated the catheter for what seemed like forever. Finally they decided I didn’t need it, which thrilled me.
G was an amazing baby right from the beginning. He slept for five hour increments at a time and after only a small hurdle with breastfeeding, took to eating like a champ.
My husband has been the greatest daddy right from the second G was born, very hands-on and very involved, always helping me change diapers and always wanting to hold our little man. I could not imagine sharing this journey with anyone else.